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More adventurous than the average bear

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Links - 15th August 2015

The obsession with sexual harassment is turning the 21st-century workplace into an emotional deadzone – Telegraph Blogs - "Apparently the best way to avoid being accused of inappropriate behaviour in the workplace is to turn yourself into an emotional cripple who never says anything nice or complimentary, far less cheeky, to your colleagues... Older people must be especially careful in the workplace, because apparently their preferred terms of endearment – love, darling, sweetheart – are criminally archaic. The Independent says it is problematic to behave in an “avuncular manner” in the workplace. An expert tells the paper that older workers should not use old-fashioned terms like “love” unless they would be comfortable with being called “grandpa” or “village elder”. But isn’t this just the petty policing of the kind of lingo used largely by working-class people of a certain age? In one of my old workplaces, the older men uniformly referred to every young woman as “sweetheart” and every young man, including me, as “son”. It was nice. It made a rather stressful workplace environment feel more familial and pleasant. Little did I know that I and everyone else were actually being talked down to by patronising letches. Also, you should never discuss celebrities’ sex lives at work, because others might find it offensive. You should distance yourself from flirtatious workmates, even if that makes you seem like an “officious, stuck-in-the-mud, Billy no-mates”. And you must never, ever try to get into a sexual relationship with a workmate... The problem with such stifling, emotion-squishing codes of conduct is that they turn the 21st-century workplace into an emotional deadzone, bereft of niceness and pleasantries and even compliments... One of the things that makes work more bearable for millions of people is the camaraderie they build up with their colleagues, which they often do through speaking to each other in a free and relaxed manner that is not overseen by their boring managers or HR busybodies. In turning the workplace into a moral minefield where no one can ever truly chill out, we aren’t really combatting rare instances of serious sexual harassment – we’re just alienating workers from each other and turning the workplace into a more soul-destroying arena than it needs to be."

Freakonomics » Aziz Ansari Needs Another Toothbrush: A New Freakonomics Radio Episode - "That study is from the thirties in Philadelphia and it was like, yeah one out of twelve people will marry someone in the same building. Eighty-something percent, it was the same city. One out of three it was like within a five-block radius. And it was really startling. And you just think about it now and it’s like, no one marries someone from the same city. You, like, meet people throughout your whole life that are from different parts of the world, and you go to college. And that change was something that was actually a bigger change than the technology or anything. Just overall change in what used to be called the “companionate” marriage to the “soul mate” marriage. The companionate marriage is pretty close to an arranged marriage... in 1967 there was this study they did where they found seventy-six percent of women said they would marry someone that they are not romantically in love with... if I could throw out the Internet as well, that’d be great. I never read anything. I’ve never read all these novels that are like these beautiful stories that have continued to have a resonance with people for so many generations, like beautiful works of art that I could read at any point. But instead, I choose not to read them. And I just read the Internet. Constantly. And hear about who said a racial slur or look at a photo of what Ludacris did last weekend. You know, just useless stuff. It’s like, I read the Internet so much I feel like I’m on page a million of the worst book ever. And I just won’t stop reading it. For some reason it’s so addictive."

Men don't get it: Japan's diversity perception gap - "Do men and women have equal career opportunities in Japanese workplaces? Sixty-seven percent of men said yes, while only 51% of women agreed, showing a large gap in Japanese perceptions of gender diversity... When asked whether equally capable male and female colleagues are paid the same, 72% of men said yes, while 62% of women agreed, again, a significant difference."
Actually I find it significant that a majority of women think there's gender equality

Global Attitudes on Materialism, Finances and Family - "Those most likely to agree they feel under a lot of pressure to be successful and make money are from China (68%), South Africa (66%), Russia (66%), India (60%), Turkey (53%) and South Korea (52%) – the emerging economies. On the flip side, those least likely to feel this pressure for financial success are from Italy (25%), Sweden (26%), Japan (29%), France (33%), Belgium (36%), Spain (36%) and Great Britain (39%) – the traditionally developed nations. Similarly, those from China (71%), India (58%), Turkey (57%), Brazil (48%) and South Korea (45%) are most likely to measure their success by what they own while those from Sweden (7%), Spain (15%), Great Britain (16%), Canada (20%), the United States (21%) and Italy (22%) are least likely to do so.
More evidence that Chinese are very materialistic
Maybe Fight Club should've been set in China

Young people less tolerant and more ignorant of other religions, poll suggests - Telegraph - "People in their late teens and early 20s were significantly less open to children born to parents from different religious backgrounds being brought up to understand both faiths than those in their 50s and 60s. They were also less likely to be aware of the common origins of the three Abrahamic faiths despite citing religious misunderstanding as the major cause of conflict in the world, ahead of economic hardship, natural disasters, food shortages and environmental crises."

In praise of cynicism - "The cynic would surely question the way in which the world is divided into optimists and pessimists. Optimism has various dimensions, and just because some people take a dim view of human nature and some future probabilities, that does not mean they are hardcore pessimists who believe things can only get worse. Cynics refuse to be typecast as Jeremiahs. They are realists who know that the world is not the sun-kissed fantasy peddled by positive-thinking gurus and shysters. Indeed, the greatest irony of all is that many of the people promoting optimism are unwittingly feeding a view of human nature that is cynical in the very worst sense"

[GPGT]: PAP IBs are having a civil war now! - - "Basically, Bryan Ti supports PAP but condemns pack behaviour whereby IBs resort to smears and attacks on pro opposition sites. He also disapproves of ministers, MPs and PAP members behaving in such a way. A few years back, Bryan Ti had previously sexposed the facebook group "My Compass" with screenshots, making him the enemy of PAP IB leader Jason Chua Chin Seng."

Ex-Samsui woman touched by SG50 Slim Fit bust enhancement ad | New Nation - "“I am very proud that Slim Fit is using the nation-building legacy of me and my sisters to promote their bust enhancement services.” “I hope that Singaporean women everywhere will think of how far Singapore has come when they look at their breasts. As Singapore continues to develop, their bust lines will grow like our nation’s prosperity.” Ng added that she was going to call Slim Fit right after the interview was over. “This is what I spent my youth slaving away on construction sites day after day for”, said Ng, struggling to hold back tears. “I have earned this.”"

The Joy Of Hunting Without The Killing - tribunedigital-chicagotribune - ""many hunters don`t fit the stereotype at all. Many of them I have found to be caring people. They tell me that they like to hunt because they enjoy being outdoors having good times with their friends --and that if an animal comes along, they feel obligated to shoot it. But they tell me that they get no thrill out of doing the actual killing... no hunter I have ever talked with admitted the killing aspect to be a joy of hunting. The reasons most hunters cite are: saving animals from starving through the winter; hunting for food; getting back to nature; the skill needed in stalking the prey and in the aim required to kill it; an excuse for the`boys` to get together; and tradition"

Should Oscar Pistorius's Prosthetic Legs Disqualify Him from the Olympics? - "The question seems preposterous. How could someone without lower legs possibly have an advantage over athletes with natural legs? The debate took a scientific turn in 2007 when a German team reported that Pistorius used 25 percent less energy than natural runners. The conclusion was tied to the unusual prosthetic made by an Icelandic company called Össur... other researchers have other theories about a possible advantage. Because Pistorius's Cheetah's don't tire, his lower leg stays springy throughout the entire race. For most 400-meter runners the second half of the race is where the real battle happens. Jim Matin, a researcher at the University of Utah, says that the lower leg is what weakens and slows runners. Martin thinks that if Pistorius ran in a competitive 600-meter race, Pistorius could set the world record."

The sheer joy of hunting - "The sheer joy of hunting comes from far more than just dressing up in a smart coat and shiny boots and drinking port. It’s the simple pleasure of being out in the field, watching the hounds do what they do best, and enjoying the pure beauty of the sport"

How to expect hawkers to make a decent living? - "NTUC stated that they are judging 40% base on rental and 60% on other criteria. But everyone is not confident at tendering due to the minimum price set for every stall. For instance fishball noodles at $2.70. On the papers, they talk about attracting quality hawkers. Do you actually think that a quality hawker will come out with quality food when they use quality ingredients and if the cost of food is so high, how much do you think the profit margin will be? From what I see, many people in SG are paying for prices in shopping malls & paid $$$ for a coffee or a bowl of ramen, yet moan about prices of Hawker food.... What kind of living am I going to make myself if the profit margin is so low? The heritage is dying. If they want young gen to come in, give them a better profit. If their food is good, they make a lot of money, they deserve it."

Amnesty International says prostitution is a human right – but it's wrong | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian
Hearteningly most comments slam this
Comments: "This is not science. Presumably men who use male prostitutes hate men? And women who use male prostitutes aren't aware of their humanity, or some such nonsense?"
"So presumably then, because people get trafficked to work as maids in central London, where they are locked up and kept prisoner without passports, all work as maids should be made illegal. Otherwise we would be condoning people trafficking."
"And perhaps clothing should be banned because of the terrible work conditions and sometimes enslavement of so many adults and children making clothes in poor countries."
"According to the logic of the writer here, we should make human employment in any form illegal, since so many of those employed are exploited and coerced. Why are a person's hands or a person's back less sacred than their genitals? No one gives a damn about exploiting the shit out of a person's hands or their back."
"I know every newspaper has it's own stance when discussing any issue. But this article is so biased it didn't even get a quote from Amnesty for them to justify their position... I would like less biased articles in future, otherwise the Guardian will be head down the road that Fox News has so blatantly pioneered."
"This is not an article, it's an entirely one-sided and malevolent screed. The first sentence says it all: "Has Amnesty International been hijacked by proponents of the global sex trade?" How can anybody take it seriously after that?"
"Honestly, I reckon if you wandered around Sydney or London and started offering people a month's salary to suck you off, a lot of them would say yes."
""Selling your body is a human right? Please! Just the sound of it makes me cringe. It should be abolished."
"I'm sure there's things you do that would make many others cringe. I'm against grammatical errors, myself.""
"Today people freely choose to work on sugar and cotton plantations that is their right even though it was once done by slaves. It isn't the job, but the employment rights that are important."
"I work for food, it's not really consentual, but I get around that by making snarky comments here"
"So when we discuss abortion, it's perfectly okay to say "My body, my choice", but it's not okay to say the same thing about prostitution?"
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